Barcode co-inventor dies aged 91

Norman Joseph Woodland co-invented the barcode that labels billions of products in stores around the world.

    Barcode co-inventor dies aged 91
    Since the 1970s, items sold around the world are labelled with barcodes [Reuters]

    Norman Joseph Woodland, the co-inventor of the barcode that labels billions of products in stores around the world, has died at his New Jersey home at the age of 91.

    Woodland's death was confirmed by his daughter, Susan Woodland, who told the New York Times he died on Sunday from effects of Alzheimer's disease and complications of advanced age.

    Woodland and co-inventor Robert Silver were students at Philadelphia's Drexel University when Silver overheard a grocery-store executive asking an administrator to support research on how product information could be captured at checkout.

    The pair earned a patent in the US in 1952 with Woodland's idea to create a shape of concentric circles. The patent was later sold for just $15,000.

    The technology did not catch on until the 1970s, when Woodland's employer IBM promoted a rectangular barcode that was adopted as the standard.

    The modern-day barcode is estimated to be scanned more than five billion times every day.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    More than 2,300 political parties have registered for the largest electoral exercise in the world.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.